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Srdjan 'Zika' Todorovic,
At the Belgrade army hospital, casualties of Bosnian civil war are treated. In the hospital they remember their youth and the war. Two young boys, Halil, a Muslim, and Milan, a Serb, have grown up together near a deserted tunnel linking the Yugoslav cities of Belgrade and Zagreb. They never dare go inside, as they believe an ogre resides there. Twelve years later, during the Bosnian civil war, Milan, who is trapped in the tunnel with his troop, and Halil, find themselves on opposing sides, fatefully heading toward confrontation. Written by
Saso Koren <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lepa Sela Lepo Gore, or with the English name Pretty Village Pretty Fire, is a story about the Bosnian conflict, through the "serbian" side. It tells one big story, which tells the life of Milan, from the 1980's until 1994. The movie is an anti-war movie, never does it make an impression that this war is good, or that men love this war. It is a very good and dark movie, which maybe tells the story from different view than people are used to, but still shows that both sides (Muslim Bosnians and Orthodox Bosnians) are actually only fighting for their country, and that they both did awful things during the war. The movie is very good, some actors give their natural great performance, but still, because it's a low budget movie, we can see some lesser actors, and even mistakes. I have watched this movie a couple of times in a row, I did like it, however, after some time, there were things that were bugging me a bit.
First things are the language. All Bosnians (Muslim and Orthodox) speak the same dialect, but in the movie, we sometimes hear them speak a Serbian dialect. This is maybe due to the fact that most of the actors were actually from Serbia, and not from Bosnia. At one point we even hear young Halil say "Hteli" (want) in Serbian dialect, while it's impossible he would say that. He would normally say "Htijeli". There were other dialect mistakes in the movie as well. One other thing, is the mixture between Serbians and Orthodox Bosnians (who also call themselves Serbians).
In the war, The Yugoslav army from Serbia was not mixed with Orthodox Bosnians. These were two factions, fighting along side, but never as one. However, in the movie we see that Orthodox Bosnians, Serbians drafted into the army, and Yugoslav army are all together and make one team.
Also, the Muslim Bosnian soldiers seem not to know how to attack those in the tunnel. We see them often just running past the opening, or walking slowly towards the inside of the tunnel while shooting. Every man would know that would be too dangerous, and they would surely hide near the opening, and fire all the time, while not visible. Also, they would throw many grenades inside. But these guys seemed to be just as some mindless henchmen in some B-action movie. And if there were so many killed, where were their bodies?
Still, this movie is really good, and next to having three begins and three endings, it also has flashbacks, which are fitted nicely. Every time there is a flashback, we see the reason why there would be a flashback. For example, telephone is ringing in the story, then it flashbacks where another telephone is ringing. This is well done, because that way we are not bothered by short flashbacks which continuously follow each other. We jump from time to time, but still we know exactly when it is happening, and we are not bored for a second. The movie is also very realistic, and it shows human nature. For example, we see that Milan does not want to be involved in the war at first, is even 'protecting' his friend's house by shooting some of his own men. Even when he finds his mother slaughtered, he still seems that he just wants to live through the war, without shooting or harming anyone. It is in the tunnel though, that we see him come to other thoughts, as his self-preservation reflexes kick in, and so he starts shooting. After we see him go through all these things happening in the tunnel, he changes, and at the hospital is making plans how to kill a Muslim Bosnian brought to the Belgrade hospital. But, when he comes to this, he sees that it is all in vane, and possibly commits suicide.
The yelling between the two factions also was very familiar to me. These kinds of things happened a lot during the war. Including playing music to each other.
Very good movie, very well made, and if the movie had a bigger budget it would have been even better.
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